Chinese cities along the silk road - Lanzhou

Source: Global Times [16:16 July 20 2009]

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After 1127 it fell into the hands of the Jin Dynasty, and after 1235 it came into the possession of the Mongols.
Under the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) the prefecture was demoted to a county and placed under the administration of Lintao superior prefecture, but in 1477 Lanzhou was reestablished as a political unit.

The city acquired its current name in 1656, during the Qing Dynasty. When Gansu became a separate province in 1666, Lanzhou became its capital.

In 1739 the seat of Lintao was transferred to Lanzhou, which was later made a superior prefecture called Lanzhou.

Lanzhou was badly damaged during the rising of the Gansu Muslims in 1864–1875. In the 1920s and 1930s it became a center of Soviet influence in northwestern China. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) Lanzhou, linked with Xi'an by highway in 1935, became the terminus of the 3,200 km (2,000 mile) Chinese-Soviet highway, used as a route for Soviet supplies destined for the Xi'an area. This highway remained the primary traffic route of northwestern China until the completion of the railway from Lanzhou to Urumqi, Xinjiang. During the war Lanzhou was heavily bombed by the Japanese.

The city is the seat of a currently vacant Roman Catholic diocese and was previously the center of a vicariate apostolic (Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su).

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